Federal Hocking Lady Lancers Hold On Against Symmes Valley

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The Federal Hocking Lady Lancers won their first playoff game since the 2008-2009 season Thursday night as senior Destiny Tabler led her team to a 52-44 win over the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings.

Tabler was the rock that coach Jeremy Tolson and his Federal Hocking team relied on all night as she recorded 26 points, grabbed seven rebounds and five steals in the Lady Lancer’s upset over the fourth seeded Lady Vikings.

“That’s exactly what we expect out of her,” head coach Jeremy Tolson said. “They were trying to take her away and she was still able to get to the basket. ”

The Lady Lancers came out hot shooting 52 percent from the field, including three out of six from behind the arc, on their way to a 15-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Federal Hocking maintained their lead throughout the half as they went in to the break up 27-19.

It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Lady Lancers shooting began to falter; of their 12 shots in the quarter, 10 failed to go through. The Federal Hocking lead was cut to just one point going into the fourth quarter as the Lady Vikings began to knock down outside shots of their own.

Symmes Valley forward Jenson Shepherd was able to use her height advantage to pick up offensive rebounds and second chance points for the Lady Vikings. Jenson went on to finish the night with 12 points and nine rebounds, eight of which came on offensive possessions.

Symmes Valley’s domination in the third quarter provided the perfect wake up call for the Lady Lancers as they started the final quarter of play with an 8-0 run. Despite Federal Hocking’s quick scoring, the Lady Vikings were relentless on the boards and brought the lead to within just two points in the final minutes of the game.

Although Symmes Valley was able to keep it close, a clutch basket from senior Kaylli McPherson extended the lead to three possessions which forced the Lady Vikings to begin fouling to stop the clock.

Clutch free throw shooting from Tabler and junior Hannah Dunfee, who combined for 42 of Federal Hocking’s 52 points, eventually put the game away for the Lady Lancers.

The Lady Lancers eight point postseason win is just another highlight of the historic season Federal Hocking has put together this year. Not only was this the first postseason win for the Lady Lancers in eight years, it will also be the first time they will finish with a wining record since that 2008-09 season.

“We are starting to build something and it’s rewarding to see this for the girls,” Tolson said. “ I told them, it’s a great feeling to cut nets down, they’ve never done it in their entire lives. And they’ll put that year on the wall, it’s something I’ve been talking about it for three years and they get to do that now.”